Thursday, September 20, 2007

Autism

When RxMan and I decided that we did want to have another child about two years ago, I was adamant that I didn't want a son. The reasons were many but one was the risk of autism, which affects 1 of 150 children today. The risks for boys is 3 - 4 times higher. I took a class a few years ago which dealt, in part, with autism spectrum disorders. It was really enlightening and has allowed me to be a much more understanding parent dealing with these children in Her Highness's classroom. I knew, however, from this course that autism is a devastating diagnosis and that boys are way more likely to have it than girls.

Of course, we did have a son. A rotten, wonderful little boy who I wouldn't trade for three girls. I am glad that God saw beyond my concerns and sent this little dude into my life because he is giving me joy and challenges in ways that HH never has. I guess what doesn't kill you teaches you, right?? (: But I do still worry. And autism is one of those worries. Lately, everywhere I look, it is on TV or in the news.

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Oprah had Jenny McCarthy on. I rarely get an opportunity to watch Oprah these days; she is on when HH just gets in from school and, honestly, TC doesn't allow much TV watching. I did see this one, though, and it has me really, really concerned now about autism.

For those who didn't see the episode, McCarthy has a 5 year old son who has autism. She details her struggles in a new book. It was rather heartwarming to hear this woman, who I really don't know why is famous except for having big boobs and blonde hair, talk so lovingly about her son. He is obviously the reason she lives. Her son has really struggled with autism and McCarthy has become a true advocate for him and others suffering with this disease.

One of the things often mentioned with autism is the belief that many parents have that their sons and daughters developed autism after the MMR vaccine. I believe this occurs right around 2. McCarthy was one who noticed a link between the immunization and the onset of autism-like symptoms.

So, I am beginning to look into autism and its causes. What is important to note is the CDC is studying this possible link:
"CDC places a high priority on vaccine safety and the integrity and credibility of its vaccine safety research. This commitment not only stems from our scientific and medical dedication, it is also personal—for most of us who work at CDC are also parents and grandparents. And as such, we too, have high levels of personal interest and concern in the health and safety of children, families and communities. We simply don't know what causes most cases of autism, but we're doing everything we can to find out. The vast majority of science to date does not support an association between thimerosal in vaccines and autism. But we are currently conducting additional studies to further determine what role, if any, thimerosal in vaccines may play in the development of autism. It is important to remember, vaccines protect and save lives. Vaccines protect infants, children and adults from the unnecessary harm and premature death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases."

So, for now, it is an information gathering time for me. RxMan brings up the point that vaccines are required for school. It's true. But, I think it is definitely worth checking into and having a conversation with our wonderful pediatrician, don't you?

2 comments:

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solopoesie said...

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SPERO DI VEDERLO
anche quando sarĂ² cresciuto
Tony
Ho postato il traduttore il Inglese
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E CIAO!!! Lina